Mick Jagger has released two songs which he says are urgent responses to the "confusion and frustration with the times we live in.''
The Rolling Stones leader released the songs and music videos Thursday. He's calling "Gotta Get a Grip" and "England Lost " an audio-visual project.
Jagger said the songs were a result of the "anxiety [and] unknowability of the changing political situation.'' In a quote via email, the 74-year-old says of the world's current political climate: "We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? No.''
Jagger said he started writing the songs in April and that he wanted to release them immediately.
"Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. It's always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately,'' he said. "I didn't want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing.''
British rapper Skepta is featured on "England Lost.'' Jagger said when he was writing it, he knew he wanted a rap act on the track.
"It's about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history. It's about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity,'' he said of the song. "That's how I was feeling when I was writing.''
Of "Gotta Get a Grip,'' Jagger said: "The message I suppose is — despite all those things that are happening, you gotta get on with your own life, be yourself and attempt to create your own destiny.''
The Rolling Stones' most recent album was the blues effort, "Blue & Lonesome,'' released in December. The band is also working on an album of new material.
Jagger also commented on the most recent artists he's been listening to, which includes Skepta, Mozart, Howlin' Wolf, Tame Impala, "obscure Prince tracks and classic soul stuff from The Valentine Brothers.''
"I really like Kendrick Lamar — he's also talking about discontent and he really nailed it,'' Jagger added.